Dinner with Fred (posted from web, not IOS)


Back in October I began the process of thinning out our roosters.  We started with six chickens, but I wasn’t sure it was six hens that we had.  Later we discovered it was three cocks and three ladies.  Having three roosters and three females is like having, having three ladies, one alpha male and two guys who might be girls or might not.  The rooster pecking order subjects all other males to a submissive state, neither female nor male.  I think the males sometimes  try to sneak a cockadoodledoo in, but otherwise it’s a weird life for them. 

I know I’m not making any ground breaking assertion to animal husbandry. My first kill was “Jerry” he had a magnificent crow, it was loud and proud.  Jerry would demand dawn long before she was scheduled to arrive.  He’d rest his cords awhile and then in the middle of the day he’d let rip with the occasional random cockadoodledoo, his crowing was in all caps. 

When I took out Jerry, it was in the cover of darkness, with a shovel turned sideways.  I nearly beheaded him with a homerun turning strike that I launched from behind.  And then I finished my deed, severing his head with the end of the shovel.  I couldn’t imagine eating him though.  I felt shame for ending his life.  I’ve eaten my fair share of chicken, I’ve had it anyway you can make it, but not the way that starts with you killing one of the all grown up chicks who lived in your backyard. 

Tom and Fred were next, in cowardly fashion I hoped that they’d reached puberty with no interest in crowing.  Weeks later my theory was wrong.  The first wave of tentative cockadoodledoo wafted back around the property. I once again decided to not worry about it, I reasoned that Jerry was just unnaturally loud.  You will tell yourself anything to put off more murder.  But my killers reluctance drew to an end one Saturday morning and I came to the conclusion that both Fred and Tom would be sent on their way.

I’m not gonna talk about it here, maybe later.

Well, old Fred came out of the freezer last week.  He’d been prepped, then brined and wrapped like a prized research specimen.  I’d learned the technique for slaughter and dressing from an old farmer, I did not realize there were further refinements in the process pf prepping a rooster. I brined out of instinct.  Rooster on a good day, straight from slaughter isn’t good for much; that much I knew. And I was aware the French have specific recipes for the male chicken; it’s called coq au vin. Nigel Slater has a great wit about the event of old chicken cooking, quite a good read. 


Oh golly, if only I’d read this recipe.  I knew  coq au vin, but I really like to understand meat in it's natural capacity, before I recipe it.  If I’d had my way I’d have cooked Fred with my broiler recipe, but it was Sunday and Dana bakes on those days, so I instead fired up the charcoal grill.  I hate the charcoal grill.  And thus Fred was taken into me in much the same brutal spirit that I took him from this world, with respect, but in the end to just serve my base needs to exist, by way of being food for me.  Later this week I will cook all the essence out of his bones and then I’ll throw his bones to wild dogs that roam our creek.  


Doris & Jane

We had guests for dinner this Sunday, it was pretty pleasant.  We awoke after sunrise, sans the cry of any cock. who might want to rouse us pre dawn.  It was my suggestion that we have guests over for dinner, though admittedly I did not remind or encourage my wife after fact, though she remembered and they’re arrival was for noon thirty.  Living in a vegetarian household cooking for guests by my choice could be viewed as a complicated affair. 

It used to be that I like to serve two meats and three sides, I’ve found the sides can balloon to twice that number though as I have recipes which I enjoy to make which have meat components in them.  This weekend I compromised.  We had roasted chicken, honey glazed sesame seed coated green beans, miso greens (made with five leafy greens,) seared neckbones and miso sautéed greens, for the meat eaters. Followed with a fresh nappa cabbage salad, home made biscuits and fresh baked poppy seed cookies.  All the ingredients were local and save the Georgia green beans, which were hundred mile, the all the other ingredients were produced in a five mile radius of our house; pretty spectacular for a couple of kids who used to chow down on processed food like anyone else. 

The meal in it’s entirety took about three and half hours to prepare, had I conformed to just making three sides it would have taken two hours, less really.  In that time I was able to tasks the girls for cleaning, not call anyone in as a sous chef and I had a good time.  Not bad. 

We ate outside on the picnic table-I’ve given up on trying to get it to be known as our “outdoor dining table”. It’s so peculiar how you can want something to “exist” a certain way, so much so that you cringe if people refer to it differently than you like. “What? It’s not a picnic table, why just look at it.  It’s an outdoor dining table! Harrumph!” When really it’s the worlds best picnic table and I should own it, not shun it’s roots.  Not like anyone has any other point of reference for dining room tables outside. 

One last thing... The estate seems to be infested with yellow jackets. We didn't have them last year, but they are all over now, front and back of the house.  They don't bother you unless you get near their home, which is near my home, which is a problem.  They exhibited weird behavior though.  The roasted chicken was coated in a rub of fresh onion, salt and pepper and the yellow jackets loved it.  They would literally swoop though, nibble on a piece of crumb and then they'd gather it up and fly off with it, totally weird, we had no idea they ate human stuff, figured maybe sugary stuff, but not the savory, weird, huh.


Life with Lilith is fascinating; it's easy to see why the old spoil children. Really, you're way pas the palm glow and you just hope things are good for them. That's a pretty deep well of guilt to draw from.

I think the grandparent creature is lost to good intentioned desires, hopeful to see their grand children live idyllic lives. Ego and legacy do play a part and at what costs, almost always at odd with ones own children, truly fascinating.


TFAL Grinder


I'm sure this was a wedding gift, like people who get married request this right, people with money; or for that matter, people without money.

When I had a chance to buy one though I did, it was $2.50, it's so worth it. It's one of those things that if I find another one I'll buy that one to.

It's ability to grind through raw nuts is totally graceful, and it puts a feather texture on raw almonds

It turns cheese into parchment.

It breaks down like a boat action rifle.

I've machine washed it, but recently I realized it was a score, now I break it down and hand clean it. It feels solid, but plastic just gives up one day. So I limit UV exposure and just use hot water.

Tefal Cheese, Nut & Seasonings Grinder. from Paul Sibley on Vimeo.

If you have problems with the video loading on the page, click on Tefal Cheese, Nut & Seasonings Grinder.  and try it from the vimeo page.